Saturday, January 29, 2011

Inspiring Actions: I have your back

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: I have your back!!!!
As I tearfully write this, I am humbly inspired by the funeral I just returned from. My husbands partner & friend's father (Bob Sprague) passed away and we attended his service.

Our friend Bob's words were profound about his dad: "My dad didn't tell us he loved us but he showed us by his actions, each and every day of his life". Wow! He went on to say, "Actions speak Louder than words", describing hunting trips, weekends together at their cabin, and his availability when something needed to be fixed. His dad flew planes in World War II, and sounded like such a man of honor. His pastor described him as "Salt of the Earth".

Yesterdays Blog, had a big picture of Sandra Bullock in the Blind Side (which didn't show up, so I tried Again, click on below) because I find there is a point in this movie that is just profound, and goes nicely with today's thought: Actions speak louder than words. When you love someone you "have their back"! When someone loves you, you know it by their actions. In the Philippians 4:8 spirit of celebrating what is pure, right, lovely, and true I am focusing on celebrating those in your lives today, that love you! Show them or tell them NOW! Write them a letter, text them, call them, or email them. If someone inspires you, encourages you, or helps you be a better person, tell them, show them with your actions.

I came home and did just that....Let my Dad and Hubbie know I love them: Thanks for having my "back". Thanks for your actions, that speaker louder than your words ever could. Thanks for taking care of me....
Now....go write those notes/emails/texts and pick up that phone!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

So Beautiful and Inspiring: The Blind Side Movie

Our goal for Inspired 31, but also my own personal goals...

Do you ever have a day, where you want to curl up: eat macaroni and cheese and watch a super inspiring movie? Well, today was that kind of day for me! Really, although (Phil 4:8) it was a fabulous day, an appointment with a lovely new client, exciting news from some press releases, a walk with a favorite friend, and dinner with my wonderful "office manager" even though she is so much more and our hysterical hubbies! Plus my kids and hubbie are healthy and happy! BUT, and I say the big BUT (not my big...) but found out something that just made me so sad...

So, since my favorite thing to do in this case, (of course, after I prayed!) is to curl up with a movie, off I go! I wanted to share this with you, in case you haven't seen it, which I can't even imagine, but..... The Blind Side, with Sandra Bullock. If Leanne isn't the most inspiring interior designer I've ever seen.....well, then.......hmmm I don't exactly know....
My two dear friends Wendy and Courtney both texted me from the movie and said that this sooo reminded them of me, and my Dad thinks it IS me in this movie. I only wish to be THAT inspiring (which I am not, for sure!!!) But someday....maybe.......isn't that what "inspiring" is supposed to do........

Anyhow...I'm off to curl up and watch this inspiring movie because sometimes... we all need some macaroni and cheese and a feel-good movie!
Night, Night!
Proverbs 31:20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy...

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Beautiful Buffet Displays, Simple Foods

Easy Presentation, and foods....Maximum Impact
These beautiful, but simple presentations were my moms creations! She hosted a book launch for Inspired Design at her home in Newport Beach. Since the pictures speak for themselves, I'll just include a few tips! (My mom was the best teacher ever, for all things homemaking, as you can see)
For all events a fruit/cheese platter is always elegant! Try to always use cheese in their natural state (ie don't cut up the cheeses) with a few little knives to cut. I think the best fruits for price, taste and mostly presentation is grapes (I love champagne grapes, so much) kiwi, sliced starfruits, and figs! Arranged beautifully......

Always group "foods" together for impact. Here, she grouped white petit fours (from Gelsons, I think) on the silver (not even an expensive tray) three tiered tray and no other food. Very elegant. For the potatoes, also from the market, she grouped together and used some lettuce with some fruit in the center on a large silver tray. Just gorgeous!

When setting the entire table, go from tall to short for maximum impact, and lots of votives, which aren't lit yet, here!

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Beautiful Branches Producing Fruit

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:2 (5-8 completes the thought)

You know the feeling, of total peace, when you are walking in blessing and things click along. Even if moments of "whatever" occur, you generally have a "Peace that surpasses all understand", versus the feeling of bumping into brick walls, closed doors, hearing-"NO"s all the time, feeling invisible and excluded. This is the "pruning stage", the "icky" feeling where it seems like everything is "a lesson learned" and you wonder WHAT is God trying to teach you! Whether it be health issues; keeping you from activities, financial issues; keeping you from blessings you think are good for you, or circumstance; one reason or another (distance, divorce, death, division) keeping you from being with the people you love, one thing is certain... this feels like the sharp set of shears cutting off the dead branches.

Often the most painful experiences produce the most fruitful outcome. In some circumstances, there is no explanation that makes the hard circumstances bearable, especially suffering or death of loved one, or a beloved relationship. I don't believe God causes these circumstances, but I do believe, He will use them for good. In these times of "cutting branches" we turn our eyes to God, and seek His comfort, His will and HIS direction for our lives. That focus produces beautiful fruit, always. Often that intense listening (and importantly that HEARING) comes from suffering and the ability that follows to HEAR, then see God's plan, His perfect plan for our Unique LIFE. It is when we let God BE God.

Our fruit (or flowers) become the most beautiful when we have been carefully pruned by the Master Gardner. He knows how we "look" the best, so he takes off what we need taken off. I am so thankful for the times of peace and blessing! But I think I am thankful for this time, because I have been through pruning and shearing! Here is to fruit and flowers, and enjoying those lovely things! (Phil 4:8)
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dannah Gresh, What are you waiting for?

Honoring Who God Created You to Be: What are you waiting for?
We, at , are so excited to bring you Dannah Gresh on Sunday, February 20 at 3:00 (til 5:30!)
Doors Open at 2:30!

I have spoken, prayed and emailed with Dannah and I can tell you this is a don't-miss event! Her latest book (released today!) is fabulous! I received a copy a little while ago, and read it cover to cover within 24hours! She is candid, funny and describes "What are you waiting for?" beautiful sex is in the context of a happy & committed marriage. She describes what a wonderful thing it is, when the time is right. This is not the typical talking at you, it is real, direct and thought and discussion provoking!
(I am off to Newport Beach to speak on "Setting a Beautiful Table" to a hundred "MOPS" women) I'll take pictures and share them tomorrow!

I have heard of groups making plans to attend from hours away, so please register now. This one will fill up fast!
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Pray, Pray, Pray

Praying for Papa Bill and Ernestine!

At the sleepover before Inspired 31... the steering "girls" said a prayer my dad's back pain and healing and Joy's mom, Ernestine's cancer! It was a very sweet sight before I left the girls to settle in to watch "Like Dandelion Dust" at their sleepover. Now, although we don't usually pray in a row, which the girls pointed out to me several times, quite loudly....I thought they looked so dear and of course teenage girls praying is a beautiful thing!

Scripturally, we are commanded to pray. It isn't one of those things only some are "gifted" in, we are all commanded to pray. Think of it like a muscle you want to be strong and powerful! Your relationship with God is formed through prayer. Thus.....

So, please pray with me for my dad, whose back pain is excruciating and he can hardly walk from room to room! Perhaps that his physical therapy/chiropractic work can heal it so he doesn't have to have a second surgery. It can be so discouraging to not be able to walk from one room to the next!

Please pray with me for sweet Ernestine, whom I also love...for her to be healed, and for peace and strength in the face of chemo and radiation! Also, I pray for her sweet spirit, and joy for her through these trials. She recently sent an email that asked for prayer requests, while she had alot of time on her hands she wanted to pray for all of us! I thought really is a sweet spirit, which it is!

Also, to the dear friend of mine with cancer (who are more private) darling girl, We will all say a prayer for you too! And to another dear friend whose mom is in rehabilitation, and struggling with physical recovery, we are praying for you as well! God knows who you are and will channel our prayers to you.

Much Love
and Prayers!
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Friday, January 14, 2011

A Mentor Blessing: Lunch with Emilie Barnes

Blessings of Lunch with Emilie!

A favorite author, and inspiring hospitality expert, with a distinctly Christian perspective, Emilie Barnes has long been a favorite of mine! My dear friend Kristin, since 10th grade and my college roomate at USC, set up a lunch for Emilie, who is a close friend of Kristin's mom, Jan! So (without my camera-ugh!) we had a wonderful afternoon long Christmas lunch in Newport Beach. It is definately going to be one of the highlights of this new ministry that I was privileged to have lunch with this special lady. (Thanks, dear friend, Kristin!)

Recently while reading a book by Debbie Macomber, called "God's Guest List", she spoke of a list of people she would love to meet! Some people surpassed her expectations, some fell very short (see book). I immediately thought of my lunch with Emilie, Kristin and Jan and how much the conversation surpassed whatever expectations I had. Firstly, it is a wonderful thing to see Christian friends honoring each other, and uplifting and celebrating each other. Jan and Emilie have been friends for 30 years ago and it is a tribute to their faith how they celebrate each others gifts and strengths. I enjoyed so much listening.

Kristin and I have been friends for about 24 years, so that isn't chopped liver either. She and her husband Mike, are my sons Godparents, and we love them dearly! Our favorite memory of them is traveling in Spain, when Mike was commentating for the Swimming Olympics in Barcelona. I digress....

Emilie was everything I had expected from all of her books (Of which I have read most, if not all) and seeing her speak many, many times. She graciously listened to the vision of Inspired Design, Inspired 31 and where I thought God was leading us, as a group! She graciously offered her help in a few ways, for which I am so grateful. We prayed together, and she continues to encourage me that God's will...will prevail! Consistant with her deep faith, she mostly encouraged me to pray, pray, pray! She certainly lived up to her advice and hospitality, as in her books, and I consider it a great honor to have had that time. Having a "Mentor" type figure with experience like that, yet still the most basic of faith's "pray, pray, pray" is a blessing beyond blessings!

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Such a beautiful privilege, Colossians 3:23 Please Register!!!

Working with the amazing girls (moms & daughters) that I work with and who attend is such a privilege. Over Christmas break it turned out that that was a time where lots of work needed to be completed for! Namely the website, but also over 1000 press releases, website training, our "Steering" handbook had to be completed, and we are preparing for the Gathering next Sunday! Of course, I did not plan that much work during a vacation period, but it happened that way, and some of the girls/moms just jumped in and made the Colossians 3:23 verse just come alive for me. Now of course, we all try to work heartily as unto the Lord, however sometimes our schedules get int the way. Seeing so many mother daughter pairs (Kathleen & Bri, Melissa & MacKenzie, Nancy & Allison, Marta & Tabitha, shown above) and my sweet girl: Hannah just jump in with a cheerful heart.... inspired me. I could see in their countenance just that spirit of enthusiasm for working heartily...even though the work was not glamorous, at all! So, thanks girls for inspiring me!

Sunday, January 16:
Our speaker is Shelene Bryan, founder of and a Hollywood Movie Producer (See Movie Clip, from recently released movie-try not to cry, with decidedly Christian Worldview: Like Dandelion Dust) and truly the kind of Christian example we want our daughters to see & be inspired by! She has the kind of faith that I find truly inspiring because she is going out into the world and using her talents to the Glory of the Lord, AND because she gives the credit to him for her success' knowing that they come straight from God, and HIM alone.

I hope you will register, and if you are in the area, attend and be inspired, energized and blessed!
Registrate Please, TODAY!
God bless you!

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Beautiful: Through God's Eyes

Beautiful Things: Through Whose Eyes Do You See?
The whole idea of beautiful things, especially in the home, is what I have spent my adult life creating & studying! Celebrating the kind things people do, the beautiful table a friend sets, a delicious meal prepared, an encouraging word from a friend, a kind gesture done by my children (the best!!), and a Phil 4:8 type spirit: that inspires me! Of course, the beautiful living room, stunning kitchen, exquisite fabrics and works of art that move your spirit are among those things, but more often than not that is secondary to whose homes we think are beautiful, and want to spend time in.

This beauty, of which I speak is subjective. Very subjective.

For example: the photograph above, that my daughter has displayed at school, may be loved, or may be thought of as a strange picture of rope with blurry spots. I, shockingly, think it is exquisite! However, I am honest to admit that I think most of what my daughter does is exquisite, and I pretty much tell her that every hour on the hour. (To which I get these darling eyerolls and this "MOOOOMMMMM" in this really dramatic tone!) I realized this in Mammoth, when my Dad, Scott, Hannah and I were looking at pictures to select for Hannah's photography project for her class. We all thought different pictures were beautiful. Scott likes distance shots of scenery, as does my dad. Hannah and I tend to like close-ups with beautiful lighting, or an unusual angel. We hysterically were arguing the merits of each, as my family does! (Don't all families? Ok, don't answer that!)

It made me think. How I see others is through my eyes. I hope that my eyes are like the eyes of God, always trying to see the best in people. That is what I strive for, falling short, and catching myself is what I pray for. Knowing that those struggling might be grumpy, so I can be patient. Knowing that those who wish their circumstances were different, might be critical. Remembering that those who point out only the bad, or flaws in something, might be barely hanging on. My biggest pet peave, probably yours too, is gossip, which becomes the lens, or eyes through which one sees life. Once I heard it explained to me by a wise "older" woman that when one labels another "______" (fill in the blank) we then unconsciously find that trait when we are with that person. Say, talkative, for example. We then forget the 9X the person is quiet, and really notice that 1X when the person can't shut up! :)

To be around faithful Philippians 4:8 women, is the best lens cleaner I know! (We all mess up-I have a list a mile long) I heard it said once that gossip is Satan's tool to discourage. Ugh, I never want to be Satan's tool!

Here is to beautiful Speech, beautiful eyes and a beautiful lens through which to see. God's eyes! Romans 16:17-19
Psalm 19:14

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Thursday, January 6, 2011 is live

Please Register Today: Next Event in only 10 days!!
Shelene Bryan of (see Events)

Our Mother-Teenage Daughter ministry's website is now up and running! You can "register for the site" for boutiques, speakers, discounts & special items. To attend our events "register for each event"! They are all free of charge, although donations are welcomed and needed :)!

The hope for Inspired 31 is to inspire teenage girls, and mothers & others to find & follow God's destiny for their life.

Yesterday, Hannah, myself, Marta, Kathleen and Brianna (with TWO n's) had a wonderful and crazily (word?) informative years-worth of computer training from Erik, in 3 hours. (Poor Erik!) Now, imagine me and my dear friend Kathleen (Inspired 31's Steering Coordinator) who is also "fluffy and cheerful", laughing and trying to learn to use "The back end of Joomla HTTP computer language, codes". Hannah and Brianna were so horrified & embarrassed that it made the whole day worth it! You moms would have loved the looks between them! Marta was as transfixed as we were in trying to learn Joomla: the computer language we will use to communicate Inspired 31 to you.

To change gears a little bit, the hope for Inspired Design Blog is to Inspire you: In Home Design, Hospitality and Showering those you love with love (James Taylor) and offering Hospitality to Strangers (Romans 12:13) Yesterday's blog prompted Christine (In Michigan?) to say,"Going to Haiti in February, nervous since I will be the only dental person with a medical group, so I will primarily be doing extractions on my own. Questioning how much my efforts will matter, but if I can bring some comfort to just one person I guess it is worth it. Thanks for your inspiring words Roxanne, it is amazing how God brings people into our lives." Yea, for you Christine, showing strangers God's love (Hospitality) in Haiti: Now THAT is beautiful!

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Life is not a dress rehearsal. Stop practicing what you're going to do and just go do it. In one bold stroke you can transform today." - Marilyn Grey

I love this quote because as women, sometimes by trying to be modest or humble, we mistakenly think that means hiding our gifts! Our gifts are given to us by God, to be used & celebrated. Use them up, wear them out, bless others with them.

Just imagine if the artist of this beautiful painting (of my moms house) decided to listen to her insecurities (thinking she isn't "perfectly" talented) choosing NOT to paint. This beautiful painting (of a dinner party with my moms special friends) would not have been painted of a gorgeous Christmas dinner, celebrating friendship and blessings of friends! What a shame that would have been!

Is there something God put in your heart that you are afraid of trying? God doesn't care if you do it perfectly, just that you do it for Him. Paint for Him, Sing for Him, Start a prayer group for Him. Boldy choose to bless others with your talent!

Don't hide your gift! Use it! Let me know what you do!

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Beautiful Moments In Our Homes

Happy New Year!
I couldn't have started of 2011 with a cuter picture, do you think? This is my precious nephew, Baby Charlie. He is so darling, and wow what a sweet disposition he has as well. His parents Eliot & Michele (My sister) are turning out to be (as expected) wonderful, patient, and loving parents.

As I begin to ponder 2011 and all of the exciting things ahead: Hannah looking into colleges, Justin into High School, Inspired 31 and the launch of our new website on thursday I begin to think about all the Beautiful Moments of 2010!
I am so grateful, first of all, for all of you! You are such a special part of Hannah and my year. We launched our book, Inspired Design, but the moments I am most thankful for regarding the book are the new relationships that have formed. New friendships with lovely people who bought the book, continued friendships with friends who came alongside us to cheer us on, and the amazing (God-breathed) ministry that grew up along side! Inspired 31 has become it's own unique and blessing-filled ministry of it's own: to encourage young women & ladies, alike to find & celebrate your God-given gifting in this life, here on earth. What a priviledge it has been to bond with new and old friends alike to walk this journey.
As we step into 2011, My wish for you is for your home to open to others, and bless those who come inside. My wish, for us all, is to remember those who aren't included, the forgotten, the invisible. Sometimes they are right along side us, and we miss the moments. My prayer for us all is to look around and invite others into our homes to be blessed. Have more people to dinner. Spoil more people. Like James Taylor says, "To Shower the ones you love with love, show them the way that you feel." Make lists of people you want to bless, or that God might want you to bless for HIM.
My posts this year, will be devoted to Beautiful things: Inside the Home. It will be specifically ideas to bless others, by using the home that God blessed you with. It is what HE GIVES us those homes for! Beautiful things: Beautiful Moments, Inside Your Home! If you have pictures of something special you did, or was done for you in the form of lunch, dinner, etc.. sweet goodies given etc...please email them to me, as I'd love to post YOUR inspiring designs!
May God richly bless you this year!

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